USW recognised for commitment to armed forces

Armed Forces

The University of South Wales (USW) has received a silver award from the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.

Awards are given to both private and public sector organisations who pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community.

It is the second time that the University has received the award – initially being recognised in 2015.

The University runs an armed forces recognition of priorlearning scheme which allows former servicemen and women to earn up to two thirds of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, based on the training and knowledge they acquired while serving. Anyone who is interested in the scheme can apply free of charge.

USW was the first university in the UK to launch this type of scheme and was the first to sign an education based corporate covenant with the armed forces in 2013, to provide guidance to service leavers and their families on education opportunities open to them.

Ross Hall, Armed Forces Champion for the University of South Wales, said: “Over the past few years we have assisted many former armed servicemen and women into higher education to help them on their path towards finding new careers.

“The armed forces recognition of prior learning scheme enables the valuable experience that they will have gained during their time serving in the armed forces to be taken into consideration towards their university credits. We have already seen many of them graduate from the University and go on to find new careers in complimentary and sometimes completely different sectors.”  

Alex Fletcher, 40, graduated from BSc (Hons) RiskManagement Security Operation and Investigation in July 2017.

Before coming to University, Alex was in the police and the armed forces – serving for 13 years as a police officer in Grenada, where he was attached to a specialist para-military unit, before joining the Royal Artillery.

Alex Fletcher - Armed Forces

Alex Fletcher, USW graduate who previously served in the armed forces

Alex said: “My army service enabled me to start my degree programme at year two. This was possible through the University’s Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) programme for ex-armed forces personnel.

“The transition into university was obviously challenging. Having to adapt to an academic style of writing and critically assessing the work of others presented the greatest amount of difficulty. However, with practice and support from the dedicated team of lecturers at the International Centre for Policing and Security, it resulted in one of my greatest achievements.

“Coming from a service background, there were times when I felt I had made the wrong decision to pursue my dreams in higher education. However, I can firmly say that the University of South Wales were there to make my dream a reality.”

To find out more about the armed forces scheme, please visit